Statement Simon Heijdens
Nature is becoming rare in our increasingly planned surrounding. Compared to the natural environment which is always changing shape, colour and atmosphere, our daily urban environment is static and unchanging. Even things we'd be likely to perceive as nature, such as the trees on the streets are no longer actually nature but carefully controlled and managed.
But, the wind that is moving its branches still is. Like the motion of branches, ripples on a rain puddle and slowly gathering grime, there are still small bits of nature left in the city.
Tree - an installation that recreates nature in the urban surrounding.
A white silhouette of a tree is projected in real size onto the facade of a building. From a small stem it slowly grows on to the wall to a full size tree over the course of a week. Its branches and leaves are moving - either slightly or intense; each branch is programmed and moving to a wind sensor that is mounted on the roof and connected to the computer, so every gust of wind that passes the building, is also moving the digital tree.
The movement is very exact and natural, short and thick branches move less than long and thin ones. Therefore, the light-tree takes different character throughout the weeks that it is being projected and it visualises the changes of days and weeks. Starting full of leaves at dawn, the tree looses one of its leaves each time someone passes it. When the leaf breaks off its branch, it drops down on the ground nearby the tree. Because the leaves are made of light, they slowly brighten up the street as they grow in amount over the course of the evening, and form a developing image that reveals the use of the city. When a passer-by walks through the leaves projected on the floor, they roll out as if the wind is blowing through them.
The tree is projected from sunset to sunrise. Arriving in the city at one o’clock in the morning to find an empty tree or a floor full of leaves, it will be obvious that something has been happening.